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News Archive - April 2010

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Jobs Website Expands

Whitchurch's own jobs website now includes items for sale and services. now offers goods for sale and services. You can advertise an item sale for £1 (+VAT) for a month or a service for £18 (+VAT) for a year.

The service is available across the UK but you can pick jobs, sale items or services within a given distance from your location.

Music All the Way This Weekend

Whitchurch is the place for music this weekend.

Starting with a free gig featuring the Psychic Spies, a Red Hot Chilli Peppers tribute band, in the Parish Hall (for those 18 and over). The event starts at 8.30pm and is followed by late opening at the White Hart.

The weather looks set fine for Twangfest 2010 on Saturday from 12noon to 11.30pm at Testbourne. The fantastic line up comprises redFlag, Tricky Micky, Mr Temper, Karrion, The Fortunate, The Guns Of Pig Alley, London, Le Chat Noir, Queen B, The Scallywags, Unexclaimed, The Plastix, KTS, OkCorrel, The Have It Your Ways, Bastad! Rats!, Rocco Lampone, Scorched Flesh and Ruins of Earth. And there's an open mic stage and plenty to eat and drink, so turn up from 11.30am for another great event.

If jazz is more to your taste then try the White Hart's Jazz, Folk & Real Ale Festival between 12noon and 5pm on Saturday and complete the weekend with the fortnightly acoustic music session in the Bell from 4pm on Sunday.

Support the Cricket Team

Volunteer umpires and scorers are needed by Whitchurch Cricket Club.

Spend a few hours on a Saturday afternoon with Whitchurch Cricket Club, volunteers will be given food and drink throughout the afternoon. Contact Nick Dancer at [email protected] or phone 07786 376757.

Pubs Race

The third recent running of the Pubs Race was another great success. Thirty teams took part, which organiser, Rob Dunlop, thinks is probably as many as can be catered for.

Despite earlier drizzle, the afternoon was beautifully sunny (for the third year in a row!) and the teams gathered at the Kings Arms for the 5pm start. There was a great atmosphere right from the beginning and the route to The Square and the Town centre was crowded.

Some teams were obviously intent on trying for a quick finish but others appeared keener on entertaining the onlookers as the roundabout became a stage for one or two performances. There's more pictures here.

The "watering" stops were all packed as spectators reveled in the afternoon sun, entertainment and some refreshing drinks. Around £2,600 was raised on the day. Well done the organisers and teams and well done Whitchurch!

  Most money raised   GI Janes £449.50
  Fastest team 1 Wet Wet Wet  
    2 ASBO  
    3 Chunderbirds  
  Best Costume   Englego  
  Best team Effort   Girls are Lads  

New Town Councillor

The Town has a new Councillor as a result of Thursday's election. The results are:

  Bill Judge
356
  Mike Kean
86
  Linda Thomas
497

Even though 295 more votes were cast than in the Town Council election last December (an increase of 46%) Basingstoker & Deane Electoral Office are saying that the turnout is down from 26% to 24%.

Congratulations to Linda, as the number of elected Councillors increases, and best of luck in what is very often a thankless task.

Eat Well All Week

The White Hart has a fantastic offer next week.

All main meals taken between 12 - 2pm and 6 - 9pm from Tuesday until Saturday are just £5. If you haven't tried the Hart's food before now's an ideal time. If you become a "friend of the White Hart" on Facebook you'll be told by email directly about its offers.

For other special offers in Whitchurch visit the special offers page.

Whitchurch this Weekend

Bank Holiday Weekend has plenty on offer in Whitchurch. On Sunday and Monday why not visit the Silk Mill in the morning and Bere Mill garden in the afternoon?

On Sunday you can round off the day by watching the pubs race which starts at The Kings Arms at 4.30pm then "runs" via The Bell Inn, The Prince Regent, Longmeadow Sports & Social Club, The Harvest Home to finish at The White Hart. There's lots on in the pubs from lunchtime until late.

Parish Hall to Be Sold

The sale will be by auction on 30 June at 2.30pm.

This follows an offer made by the Parish Hall Committee to the Administrative Trustees. The Committee are not happy that the only response was a letter saying the Hall would be sold by auction, which may lead to the possibility that the site is bought by a developer and yet another part of the community is lost.

The current Committee has renovated the Hall and, with some grant support, made the place financially self supporting. The Parish Hall is different from other halls in the town in that all its running cost have to be paid from hiring fees and it is not reliant on tax payers' money or one of the churches.

Many older members of the community are puzzled that the Vicar can sell the Hall, which was built with money raised by public subscription.

New Zebra Crossings are Happening

The new zebra crossings are in place, but they are very much off colour. The black is very subdued and the white is very grey.

The picture on the right shows how a sheet of normal white paper looks in comparison, note how dull the "white" appears even against the sets alongside it, a left click on the picture will show it in greater detail.

Hampshire County Council officers are already looking into the matter.

Dog Fouling

The Leisure & Environment Committee considered the issue at its meeting on 17th May and referred the matter to the next meeting of the Full Council.

More Hospitality in the Town Centre?

An application to extend the White Hart's opening hours has been made. The application is to vary the premises licence to extend the timings for the following licensable activities.

Live Music: Monday to Saturday 11am - Midnight, Sunday Noon - Midnight.

Recorded Music, Facilities for Making Music, Facilities for Dancing: Monday to Thursday 11am - Midnight, Friday & Saturday 11am - 1am, Sunday noon - 1am.

Late Night Refreshment: Monday to Thursday 11pm - Midnight, Friday to Sunday 11pm - Midnight.

Sale of Alcohol: Monday to Thursday 11am - Midnight, Friday to Sunday 11am - 1am.

The application includes the fact that Live Music and/or Discos will only take place a maximum of three times per month and seasonal variations of bank holidays and Saturdays in December to allow for Christmas parties.

The consultation period for this application expires at midnight on the 2nd June 2010.  All comments or objections must be forwarded to the licensing team by this date.

Your Chance to Comment on Future Housing Plans

The draft Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment has been published and Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is asking for comments.

The assessment aims to provide information on the opportunities that exist to meet housing needs until 2026, to help the decisions on allocations to be made. The document (29 pages) explains what the process is all about and has annexes which are lists of sites which have been considered, some rejected.

Included but already completed is the Park View development.

Currently rejected is the Blosswood Lane Allotment site, but the wording includes the comment "The Council should, however, carry our further assessment work, and future potential will be explored further through the Local Development Framework".

The only brown field site included is that just off Evingar Road where applications for 46 & 54 flats were refused in 2008 & 9, it is listed as being suitable for 30 dwellings in the next 5 years.

A green field site is identified (actually listed as 2 adjacent sites) between Bloswood Lane, the new Park View development and the A34. Although its location means that its development would be against current policy its potential to provide 150 "units" between 2014 & 17 mean that it is included as a possible site.

A further 50 "units" could be sited at the Gables in the same time frame; again it is not in line with current policy, but it is included.

Land between The Knowlings and the Test, but not that part which includes the BMX track, skate park and football pitch, is deemed suitable for "low density" housing and therefore up to 200 "units" could be built between 2014 & 18; this land is owned by B&DBC.

Green field sites that are "currently not demonstrating the ability to contribute to the creation of sustainable communities" are Bere Hill, East of Bloswood Lane, Arnolds Farm and North of Caesar's Way.

The council is asking for comments on:

  • the methodology used
  • the information provided on the sites
  • the conclusions reached, including the number of homes suggested and the timescales.

You can comment on-line (you need to register to do so) and/or visit a presentation to be held at the Overton Community Centre, Winchester Street, Overton 10am - 5pm Saturday 12 June and/or write to the council. You have until 21 June.

Another Local Election

There will be an election for the vacant Whitchurch Town Council seat on 27th May.

There are 3 candidates, Bill Judge, Mike Kean and Linda Thomas.

The new Mayor, John Clark, took on his role on 10th May and details of the councillors and their roles, as listed on the Town Council Notice Board, are here.

Update!!New Zebra Crossings are Happening

Work has started on renovating the Town Centre zebra crossings. After delays caused by the bad weather, work has started on removing the old paint.

Steve Goodall of HCC says that special paint is required to stick to the sets and that work is scheduled to be completed (weather permitting), out of peak hours, by the end of the week.

The work gives the lie to the Wikipaedia assertion that there are no traffic lights in Whitchurch. After weeks of waiting, it only takes one mention by thewhitchurchweb to get the job done!!!

Silk Mill Calls the World

Members of Andover Radio Amateur Club have again been contacting mills around the world. As part of the National Mills Weekend, yet again a radio station has been set up in the Silk Mill and attempts are being made to contact other amateurs in Mills.

Despite the area being very noisy (electronically) the club hopes to contact stations in Belgium and the Netherlands on the 80m band using some newly acquired equipment.

Doggy Person(s) Wanted

Whitchurch Town Council intends to put an enforceable ban on dogs in its recreational areas if no one comes forward with a scheme to tackle the problem of dog fouling. The unenforceable ban imposed last year has "helped but not alleviated the problem".

If no one comes forward with a scheme before 10 May for consideration at the next Leisure & Environment Committee Meeting then the Council intends to put an enforceable ban in place. Please contact the Town Hall on 892107 if you can help.

Election

Sir George Young has been returned as Whitchurch's MP with an increased share of the vote (*based on the BBC's comparison with the notional constituency in 2005).

     
Votes
Percentage
Change*
  George Young (Conservative)  
31,072
58.3%
+7.8%
  Thomas McCann (Lib Dem)  
12,489
23.4%
-1.5%
  Sarah Evans (Labour)  
6,980
13.1%
-7.7%
  Stan Oram (UKIP)  
2,751
5.2%
+1.4%
 
Majority
 
18,583
34.9%
 
Turnout
 
53,292
69.6%
+3.5%

This represents a notional swing of 4.7%* from the Lib Dems to the Conservatives.

The results in the Borough election were:

  Keith Watts (Lib Dem)
1,792
   
59.1%
  Bill Judge (Conservative)
1,073
   
35.4%
  George Garton (UKIP)
167
   
5.5%
 


Comparison with previous results:
   
2002
2003
2006
May 2007
Oct 2007
2008
2010
  Lib Dem
64%
57%
51%
58%
53%
52%
59%
  Conservative
31%
37%
37%
42%
44%

48%

35%

 

Labour

6%

6%

3%

4%
  Greens
8%
  UKIP            
6%

 

Turnout

39%

32%

48%

52%
42%
46%
74%

The turnout of 74% in the borough election was much higher than at recent local elections and higher than the borough average of 67.5% and a national average of 65% (for the general election).

Weeds are Back

The newly cleared area at the Gill Nethercott Centre is producing a bumper crop of weeds. Those visiting the Centre to vote can see how well the new area is coming along, for those who can't get there or arrive in the dark, clicking on the image will provide a close up of the weeds, which are mainly thistles. More importantly visitors to the Town may well have a very bad impression of Whitchurch from the apparent lack of care being paid to this gateway area.

Yet again preparation seems to have been forgotten - why weren't they killed out before the bark was laid? It doesn't stop strong weeds like thistles.

And could something be done to give priority to cars entering the car park over those leaving. Forcing cars to reverse into Winchester Road is dangerous and against Highway Code rule 201 "Do not reverse from a side road into a main road"?

Repairs at Last

The junction of Micheldever Road and Winchester Road is being repaired. Work started this morning to replace the surface at the junction which has been in a very poor state for some time and was made worse by the Winter frosts.

All that remains to be done now are the rest of the pot holes, the repainting of the zebra crossings, the pavements .........

 

New Co-op Ready for Official Opening

All is ready for the refurbished store to reopen at 7am on Thursday. The interior has been completely refitted making more space for stock and a more open feel. The entrance has been moved to Church Street.

The staff, who were redeployed to Thatcham during the closure, have been working hard to ensure that all is well for the opening. There will be an official opening at 10am by Brian Wheeler.

There is a cash machine, unfortunately not outside, but instore.

Another new website

The Bloswood Drive Allotments has its own official website. Like all allotment sites in the town, Bloswood Drive has a waiting list for plots, which shows how popular gardening is these days.

What makes the Bloswood Drive site different is that it has a bright shiny new website produced by Andy Lewington-Mawer and Miranda Clitheroe. I won't spoil the site's thunder too much but it has pictures of the 10 rod plots (roughly 10m x 30m) and information about the lots of wild life there. The allotments have plenty of keen gardeners who are very happy to share their knowledge, enthusiasm and some of their produce with newcomers.

If you've ever thought of gardening but don't have the space, why not have a look at the website and maybe get you name down for a plot ?

"New" Café

Hannah Robins has taken over the café in Newbury Street and renamed it H's Coffee Shop.

Hannah and her team had a hectic day on Saturday and was quite Hannah's Coffee Shopgrateful for the poor weather that cut down on the number of visitors for the rest of the Bank Holiday weekend.

The café was created by Teresa Job of Glass-foolery in the house where Lord Tom Denning was born and has been managed by Hannah. Glass-foolery goes from strength to strength and keeps Teresa more than busy enough,

 
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